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Fort Smith Mission Heritage Park

25 Mercredi Avenue, Fort Smith, Northwest Territories X0E 0P0, Canada
+1 867-875-5566
Review Highlights
Center site in Fort Smith.

We walked around the preserved buildings and grotto of this old mission reading all the informative... read more

Reviewed September 24, 2016
Gene J
Silver Spring, Maryland
Time Well Spent in Fort Smith, NT

This was a real nice place to visit and well worth the time and we learned a lot about the role of... read more

Reviewed August 16, 2015
Read all 7 reviews
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Fort Smith Mission Heritage Park is all that remains of the original 151 acre / 61 hectare Oblate Catholic Mission in what is now the centre of Fort Smith. Fort Smith was for a brief period the capital of the Northwest Territories. It is located at a natural trans-shipping point for merchandise, from boats that were at that time paddled all the way from eastern and southern Canada, down the Slave River as far as the rapids near Fort Smith. The goods had to be transshipped into other vessels in order to proceed further north to serve communities on Great Slave Lake, the Mackenzie River and the Arctic Ocean. For a period of a century between 1876 and the early 1980's, the Roman Catholic Church operated its mission to the entire western arctic from here. In the absence of any government school system at the time, the church opened and operated schools across the north, which at that time included all territory north of Edmonton. The Oblate Mission maintained a Bishop's Residence, St. Isodore's Church, assorted sheds, repair shops, a hospital with associated nun's residence, a residential school, large fields for the growing of crops, and even an airstrip. Nearby, the church operated docking facilities on the Slave River for their Mission boats, a farm, and sawmill. Attractions & Points of Interest: •The park provides an extensive self-guided tour of the historic mission sites, with sign boards describing various aspects of the history and activities of the mission. You can still see: •The Bishop's residence, built in 1911 •The Cathedral •The fields that were cultivated, some of which have been restored •The storage shed •The carpentry shop •Vehicle repair shop •Machine shop •The hospital building that was built in 1952 to replace earlier structures •The Grotto •The sites of several other buildings that have been removed Eventually a railway and a highway were pushed north from Edmonton to Hay River, where large barges could be loaded directly on Great Slave Lake, and Fort Smith's days as a "port" were over. Its days as a capital ceased with the discovery of gold in Yellowknife soon afterwards.
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  • Very good28%
  • Average14%
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“church” (3 reviews)
“grotto” (3 reviews)
25 Mercredi Avenue, Fort Smith, Northwest Territories X0E 0P0, Canada
+1 867-875-5566
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Reviews (7)
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Reviewed September 24, 2016

We walked around the preserved buildings and grotto of this old mission reading all the informative signs that front each of the structures. Interesting history of the church's community endeavors.

Thank Gene J
Reviewed August 16, 2015

This was a real nice place to visit and well worth the time and we learned a lot about the role of the RC Church in the later years of the nineteenth century in Fort Smith, NT and we learned about the role of some...More

Thank Yooper5
Reviewed April 22, 2015

Take a stroll through the mission grounds on wheelchair accessible gravel pathway. Read the info and talk to locals in the community garden.

Thank brendab1958
Reviewed March 30, 2015

This park is right in the centre of town. It is also close to one of the firendliest hotels in town the Pelican Rapids Inn. The park contains a grotto, St Isidores church which for a while was called St Alphonsus church before it was...More

Thank fortsmithman
Reviewed February 4, 2015

A pleasant walk with some interesting facts about northern history and church history in the territory.

Thank GoblinXIV
Reviewed January 15, 2015

The walking path shows different points around the mission. The little grotto is beautiful- if you're lucky you'll see a wedding!

Thank cmeadus
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